Podcasts have become increasingly popular, and not surprisingly, people have nearly stopped listening to radio altogether. We want to hear what we want to hear. Those same three songs played on rotation before a lengthy commercial break just won’t cut it in our modern a la carte society. No, now it takes more effort to engage the listener or viewer, and the podcast seems to be positioning itself as the perfect medium to do just that.
Let’s talk about the technology that makes podcasting possible: Podcasts, which are simply uploaded to the distributor’s server and this is the web feed the listener sees. Using software known as a podcatcher the listener’s computer will scan the server and download any podcasts that haven’t been listened to yet.
This technology is simple enough to increase in popularity even further due to the fact that it can be listened to anywhere. These podcasts can be instantly transferred over to the user’s smart phone or music player and then they can listen to it in the car or even when they are walking around. The possibilities are endless with podcasts.
I’m not saying that podcasts will completely take over radio. No matter how annoying or commercially corrupt the radio stations become there will always be some listening to it, at least for the foreseeable future. This is due to the fact that it is very easy to listen to the radio and it takes no preparation or work whatsoever to do. However, once podcasts become more streamlined even with our own vehicles the radio will become even less popular.
Now with mobile internet on our phones and tablets these podcasts can be downloaded anywhere. They can even be streamed instead of downloaded if the user wishes so. This just makes the list of possibilities even longer for the podcast as it can go in many different directions for the user.
What’s great about podcasts is the episodic qualities they have. The radio is just a constant stream of audio, and I do not find any point of listening to it. Instead with podcasts there are episodes that cover new content during each one and you will know this from the beginning. I love following news stories on podcasts or a long interview because the information is so fresh and interesting. This is just one of the things that radio just can’t do.
Over time, we as humans have become more efficient and thus we like our information to be efficient as well. I have noticed that the there is a current trend from radio to podcasts and I really do hope that this trend continues. Podcasts have episodic qualities, new information, humorous interviews, and the best part is that there is hardly such a thing called a commercial break.